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Wi-Fi hits the books at Borders

Wed, 10/09/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

In August T-Mobile inked a deal to serve up Wi-Fi at select Starbucks coffeehouses, and now the company has entered a new chapter for its wireless high-speed Internet access through a deal with Borders bookstores.

The agreement calls for T-Mobile USA Inc. to provide its T-Mobile HotSpot service to roughly 400 Borders Books and Music locations nationwide beginning in early 2003. Select locations in California will be the first to sport the service.

A Wi-Fi-based local area network enables customers to check e-mail, surf the Web, watch streaming video and download multimedia presentations that are located within a radius of roughly 300 feet from a Wi-Fi device.

T-Mobile offers a variety of service plans, from pay-as-you-go for as little as $2.99 to unlimited national plans for $49.99 a month. T-Mobile says it has access points that serve more than 1,600 locations in the United States.

Wi-Fi, what some consider the answer to broadband's last-mile problems, has been slow to get off the ground, but in recent months has seen some growth in locations like coffee shops, airports, hotels and bookstores.

Earlier this week, Air2Lan rolled out a co-branded Wi-Fi service with Boingo Wireless to its corporate clientele.

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